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Cancer Res. 2003 Nov 15;63(22):7942-9.

Modified vaccinia virus ankara recombinants are as potent as vaccinia recombinants in diversified prime and boost vaccine regimens to elicit therapeutic antitumor responses.

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Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute/NIH, Building 10, 10 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Cancer vaccine regimens use various strategies to enhance immune responses to specific tumor-associated antigens (TAAs), including the increasing use of recombinant poxviruses [vaccinia (rV) and fowlpox (rF)] for delivery of the TAA to the immune system. However, the use of replication competent vectors with the potential of adverse reactions have made attenuation a priority for next-generation vaccine strategies. Modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA) is a replication defective form of vaccinia virus. Here, we investigated the use of MVA encoding a tumor antigen gene, carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), in addition to multiple costimulatory molecules (B7-1, intercellular adhesion molecule-1, and lymphocyte function-associated antigen-3 designated TRICOM). Vaccination of mice with MVA-CEA/TRICOM induced potent CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses specific for CEA. MVA-CEA/TRICOM could be administered twice in vaccinia naïve mice and only a single time in vaccinia-immune mice before being inhibited by antivector-immune responses. The use of MVA-CEA/TRICOM in a diversified prime and boost vaccine regimen with rF-CEA/TRICOM, however, induced significantly greater levels of both CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses specific for CEA than that seen with rV-CEA/TRICOM prime and rF-CEA/TRICOM boost. In a self-antigen tumor model, the diversified MVA-CEA/TRICOM/rF-CEA/ TRICOM vaccination regimen resulted in a significant therapeutic antitumor response as measured by increased survival, when compared with the diversified prime and boost regimen, rV-CEA/TRICOM/rF-CEA/TRICOM. The studies reported here demonstrate that MVA, when used as a prime in a diversified vaccination, is clearly comparable with the regimen using the recombinant vaccinia in both the induction of cellular immune responses specific for the "self"-TAA transgene and in antitumor activity.

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